About the Department

The Department of Classics at UCSB includes 10 full-time faculty members whose interests range across the Greek and Roman worlds. We teach a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in Greek and Roman culture, society, history, and archaeology, as well as a broad curriculum of Greek and Latin language and literature.

We offer four distinct “emphases” in our undergraduate major that suit a variety of students’ needs: one focuses on Greek and Latin literature, and another is less language-based, offering a broad exploration of Greek and Roman culture. Our third and fourth emphases are designed specially for those interested in archaeology or ancient Greek philosophy. The minor in Classics provides an introduction to Latin or Greek, as well as more advanced courses in literature, history, and material culture.

At the graduate level, we offer a PhD in Classics with optional emphases in Literature & Theory and Ancient History. The relatively small size of our graduate program ensures a high degree of faculty attention, and our popular undergraduate courses offer a great deal of teaching experience (normally as Teaching Assistants, but sometimes as independent Latin instructors) to our graduate students—a distinct strength of our program augmented by our pedagogical courses (Teaching Assistant Practicum and Language Teaching Practicum). Our PhD graduates have an excellent record of placement in tenure-track jobs, post-doctoral fellowships, secondary language teaching, and higher-ed administration, to name just a few areas in which they excel.

As well as areas of individual strength such as mythology, Greek tragedy, Roman political history, gender and queer theory, ancient slavery, performance studies, the modern reception of Classics, and Greek pottery analysis, we have four major clusters of interest in which a number of faculty participate: ancient drama and performance, ancient history, theory and cultural studies, and ancient fiction. Each cluster forms an interdisciplinary “bridge” to colleagues in cognate departments, many of whom enjoy affiliated status in our department, and who therefore multiply the scholarly resources in those broad areas. We enjoy fruitful relationships with faculty in other departments and programs, most notably Comparative Literature, History, History of Art & Architecture, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies. The faculty regards Classics as a fundamentally interdisciplinary field of study and seeks to realize fully this interdisciplinarity in our own teaching, mentorship, and research.

Read our 2024-25 Mission Statement here.